Canada is closing three of its embassies for the day today — in countries where anti-U.S. protests have turned violent — citing continued security concerns.
A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the missions in Egypt, Libya and Sudan will not be open to ensure the safety of diplomatic staff.
The U.S. State Department ordered the departure of all family members and non-essential personnel on Saturday from posts in Sudan and Tunisia.
It blames the security situation in the capitals of Tunis and Khartoum.
The Canadian mission in Tunis is normally closed on Sunday.
The moves follow a wave of protests and violence over an anti-Islam film that has swept across the Middle East and other Muslim countries in recent days.
Al-Qaeda appears to be attempting to capitalize on this anti-U.S. feeling.
"What has happened is a great event, and these efforts should come together in one goal, which is to expel the embassies of America from the lands of the Muslims," the grroup said in a statement released Sunday, according to The Associated Presss.
There were more protests Sunday over the 14-minute film, which was made in California.
Several hundred university students in Afghanistan gathered to protest, burn an American flag and to chant "Death to America."
The obscure, amateurish movie made in the U.S. is called Innocence of Muslims and depicts the Prophet Muhammad as being engaged in offensive behaviour.
Actors who appeared in the film said they were misled about it, and that some dialogue was crudely dubbed during post-production.
The Canadian Embassy in Cairo also closed on Thursday because of the angry protests at the nearby American embassy.
The normal Egyptian weekend is Friday-Saturday so the Cairo embassy has been closed since.
The Harper government shuttered its embassy in Tehran and severed diplomatic ties with Iran earlier this month, in part because it said it was concerned about the safety of Canadian diplomats.With files from The Canadian Press